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800K bees attack Arizona landscaping crew, one man killed

PHOENIX — A landscaping crew in Douglas, Ariz. disturbed the wrong hive Wednesday, causing them to be attacked by about 800,000 bees.

Douglas Fire Chief Mario Novoa said the landscapers were attacked while working near the hive, which was in the attic of a nearby home.

“The exterminator found a bee hive approximately three-by-eight feet,” he said. “Inside, he estimated the actual bees to be 800,000 bees inside the hive itself.”

One person was killed and one person was stung more than 400 times. Novoa said it is unknown why the bees attacked.

“We never know,” he said. “We always get the warnings — loud noises, dark colors, certain colognes — anything that will actually go ahead and trigger an actual response from [the bees].”

The hive was estimated to be several years old.

It is the first time a person has been killed in a bee attack in Douglas’ history. The victim has not been identified.

KTAR’s Paul Ihander contributed to this report.